I wonder what it’d be like to have a companion on Doctor Who written from the all too common POV of a space geek or internet free spirit/sci-fi hero(ine) to be, who only dreamed of ever getting away from this miserable little mudball and all the short-sighted humans on it. How does the Doctor deal with someone she likes enough to take travelling, is a native of her favorite planet, but this person HATES the place and wants nothing more than to be quit of it?
I’d think it would run counter to the Doctor’s instinct to try and get someone to like their own planet when her biggest drive in her own life was to leave her own home planet and never go back. To go out and see more and more of what’s in the universe. The lazy writer might want to go the Wizard of Oz route. (Nevermind we’ve already had a Dorothy get whisked away to space in a freak storm in 7's time.) “What would you want to leave Earth for? It’s my favorite planet ever!” You know. The time-honored idea of never having had to look beyond your own backyard if you wanted to see the universe blah blah puke puke.
With all the times the Doctor ever called us all little pudding-brained monkeys with no sense of self-preservation or a glimmer of intelligence, how can she honestly fault a human disillusioned with her own race in times like the ones we have now?
Doctor: “Ya know... Ah get it. Ah do. This whooole business of not wanting to stay on your own world. Ah get it.”
Friend: “Do ya? Do ya really? I get that ya’ve done a runner on your own people. And ye went and found a whole new world to call your own. You were that disillusioned with the place then? Why’s that?”
Doctor: *embarassed laugh* “That’s a long story.”
Friend: “Well you’ve got a time machine so we’ve got plenty of time for you to tell me it. My story’s a lot shorter. My planet’s gearing up for the next mass extinction event in our history. Unless you want to tell me it isn’t? No?”
The Doctor looks reluctant. There’s more than she’s saying here. Once the question is asked, even omission speaks volumes: “Ah can tell you humanity survives and goes out into the stars. They go as far as any living thing can go. They never give up. They never stop. And they prosper and survive literally until the last star goes cold. That’s humans.”
Friend: “Well right now, these tenacious humans you’re so fond of are so caught up trying to resist the rise of a worldwide 4th Reich spreading like plague, no one can focus on getting rid of the few fat bastards carving it all up for themselves and enjoyin’ it all while they can. Cos when it all goes to hell, they’ll be safely dead and out of it, right? That sound like a fun planet to you?”
Doctor: “But think of the difference you can make!”
Friend: “Doctor, unless you’ve got some inside information on the kind of difference I can make in a world this gamed against me, I got no interest in it. And *I* get it. Any kind of info you give me likely changes the outcome of events so ya can’t tell me. But unless I’m the beginning of a butterfly effect? Unless I start a chain of events where several hundred thousand years down the line someone’s inspired to make our first FTL drive, what kind of point is there in my staying here?”
Doctor: “Chips? A friend of mine liked chips. We went to space station 9. We were there when your star’s fuel finally spent itself and expanded. When the sun went all angry red and expanded far so far out that the Earth was reduced to a cinder. And my friend? When I brought her back to her present see that her mum was still okay, the first thing she wanted was chips. Are you tellin’ me that you’ll never want chips again?”
Friend: “I will always want all the comforts of home. Doctor… if you’re as old as you say, then you know we never stop wanting that. There’s days you want an honest to goodness raspberry twinkie, your pillows and your familiar bed around you with a nice bit of streamin’ video to melt all those hurts and worries away for a while. But it’s like you were sayin’. Ya know? There’s a whole universe out there. When you had the chance, what did you do?”
The Doctor stops… Remembering exactly what she did. With another friend’s help of course. Always with the help of her friends. “Ah let a TARDIS steal me so we could go see it all together.”
Friend: “And did you ever stop missing all the comforts of family, and friends and the home you loved when you were a sprog?”
Friend: “But ya went out and found new friends didn’t ya? Ya went out and found a new planet to call your home away from home didn’t ya? Ya found all sorts of friends here and you took them out there to see it. Did not one of those people love what they saw so much that they never came back?”
Doctor: “... Several, now that you mention. … this could be dangerous.”
Friend: “Safety Not Guaranteed, then?”
Doctor: “This will change you. Like the man said, the observer himself is changed by the mere act of observation. You will not finish up as you were.”
Friend: “Well it’s true what they say isn’t it? Travel broadens the mind.”
The Doctor goes pale… And mutters to herself, stunned. “Until we meet again…”
Friend is quiet a moment then. Something has clearly moved this traveller, and it would be rude to shake them from whatever it is that put a smile on their face. Then finally…
Friend: “Someone you knew, then?”
The Doctor blushes a little, looking away a moment and back again in what’s become a familiar way. One that suggests she’s had 20 coffees too many, but JUST 20. The Doctor looks refreshed and a little wistful about it. “She was my best friend.”
Friend: “And then you went and made new ones.”
The Doctor nods and heads over to the big crystalline control panel. “You might’ve read about her if you remember the 70’s. She was a writer.”
Friend: “Nah. I’m a Millennial. Probably before my time.”
The Doctor flips a switch on the New-Agepunk looking brass contraption and is rewarded with a cream cookie, which she offers to her new human friend.
“Nothing’s ‘your’ time anymore. If ya want to come. Everytime’s your time. Everyplace is your place.” The Doctor grinned like a lunatic. “Wotcher fancy, then?”
Friend looks like they just won the entire universe, which they just effectively did. Then takes the cookie. But one must be cool about these things. “Dunno? How about say… a direction I don’t know how to point in?”
The Doctor sets a few controls. “Ohhhh you’re gonna be a fun one.” She gestures to a big authoritative looking handle. “Come on then. Let’s go see something.”
The Doctor’s New Friend who all unknowing is so much like all the Doctor’s old friends takes a very deliberate bite of the cookie and joins the Doctor at the controls and lays a hand on the lever.
The Doctor: “One…”
They throw the lever together, causing the space around them to shake as if dropped about 10 feet with a resounding *ka-THOOM*, nearly knocking them both off their feet. But camera remains on both hands holding onto the lever for dear life in the face of the sound of mighty engines. ...and a permanently engaged parking brake. Cue end titles and music.